Zander and possibility

Bill’s comments at the end about scarcity versus abundance remind me of a video I stumbled upon just this week (thanks to Emily over at her Stark Raving Cello blog), in which orchestra conductor and inspirational speaker extraordinaire Benjamin Zander talks to an audience about living in a world of possibility instead of negative downward spirals and finite resources. His humor and bouncy spirit are entertaining; his actual teaching ability is extraordinary. Watch as he “unlocks the boundless potential” of a 15 year old cellist on stage, in mere minutes.

Zander was talking to scientists and businesspeople for an organization called Pop!Tech. I think this applies to writers — and everyone else. If you’re interested in attitude, teaching, public speaking, music and the arts, or anything else — really — and you have thirty minutes to spend well, check this out.

No time for a video? Here’s Zander’s opening joke:

Two salesman sent by a shoe company to Africa in the early 1900s. One telegraphs back:
“Situation hopeless, stop. They don’t wear shoes. The other one writes back: Glorious opportunity, they don’t have shoes here!”

In other words, it’s all about attitude.

Imagine applying this to the changing world of writing and publishing. “Situation hopeless, publishers in disarray, electronic media stealing the spotlight from print books etc.” VERSUS, “Glorious opportunity! People more in love with storytelling than ever, population growing as always, no end to the possibilities for reading and writing and connecting!”

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